Today, the third Monday in January has become known as ‘Blue Monday’. Apparently, it is the most depressing day of the year, although many dismiss this as nonsense! The Samaritans have turned it around and declared today ‘Brew Monday’, encouraging us to get together with a friend or family member for a cup of tea and a chat.
So, if today is all about having a cup of tea, we thought we’d bring you a guide on the herbal teas that can benefit your digestion at the same time that you are boosting your mood. Many of the herbs work in more than one way, so alternating them may help obtain maximum benefit if you suffer from more than one symptom.
Bloating and flatulence
Fennel: With a distinct but refreshing taste, fennel is a carminative, meaning it relieves gas. It would be a good option if you’re suffering from bloating or flatulence.
Other carminative herbs include chamomile, sage, aniseed and caraway. Sage can also be good for anyone suffering from a loss of appetite.
IBS – cramps
Chamomile: Often thought of as a relaxing herbal tea, chamomile is antispasmodic, meaning it would be calming for anyone with IBS.
Lemon balm, rosemary and valerian all have anti-spasmodic properties as well. Please note that valerian is also a sedative so may be a good choice in the evening rather than during the day.
Nausea and gut motility
Ginger: Frequently advised for those with morning or travel sickness, ginger is the perfect choice for anyone suffering from nausea. In addition, it is understood to aid gut motility – the speed at which things move through the digestive tract – so regularly drinking ginger tea (simply steep a few slices of ginger in boiling water) would support constipation.
Star anise has also been shown to support nausea and indigestion.
Peppermint: Studies have shown that peppermint tea can help reduce abdominal pain in those with IBS.
The good news is that there are a variety of remedies you can try out to help manage your symptoms and live a more comfortable life. Peppermint has been shown in studies to improve the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which includes abdominal pain as well as diarrhea or constipation or both. So if you’re experiencing any discomfort, drink up some peppermint tea! That should do the trick.
Fenugreek, hops, marshmallow root: These herbs are all demulcents, meaning they help to strengthen the mucous lining of the digestive tract and in turn reduce inflammation. They would be a good choice for anyone with IBS or leaky gut syndrome.
While many of these can be found in herbal teas, either alone or within a bespoke blend, you can also use the herbs’ seeds and leaves directly by crushing the leaves or seeds slightly and steeping in hot water for about five minutes.
Tea can help immensely with stress, anxiety and depression especially during one of the most depressing months of the yea. It is only natural to look for solutions.
However, drinking tea has other benefits too – it can help you lose weight, improve your skin and even protect against cancer.
It’s important to note that there are many different varieties of teas with varying health benefits – black tea contains more antioxidants than green while white is the least processed so contains more of the antioxidants that tea is known for.
As always, drink your tea with a balanced diet and remember to exercise too.
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ProVen Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth ProVen research.